Questions, Concerns, Updates



We developed this course with the intention of helping facilities that care for animals to have stress free ways to test for COVID-19. We see this course as just the beginning. As more and more people train behaviors and we learn more about the testing options we hope to continue to improve upon this start. If you have a question, concern or if you discover new information or techniques, let us know! We will reach out to our team for answers. Please be a part of this effort to improve animal welfare and protect our collections from COVID-19. 

We are happy to address your questions or direct you to the correct resource. Feel free to contact us. Questions addressed in public forums will also be shared here. We will share your question and response here only with your permission.

Question: Why not use fecal tests?

A question was asked why fecal tests were not being used as examples for this course. Although a fecal sample is a possible option. The challenge is it can be difficult to detect COVID-19 amongst all the other contaminants in a sample. Comparatively speaking it is not as desired of a test according to the veterinary professionals with whom we are consulting. As has been recommended throughout the entire course, we do suggest all facilities consult with their own veterinary professionals to determine what is best for their particular collection.

You may also find more information on the CDC's page for Evaluation for Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Animals. It is updated frequently.

We are happy to address your concerns or direct you to the correct resource. Feel free to contact us. Concerns addressed in public forums will also be shared here. We will share your concern and response here only with your permission.

Concern: Swab size and large cats

A concern brought up on a social media post was that the standard swab available to collect the sample for nasal swabs are not long enough for big cats.

We appreciate the thoughtful concerns and questions as these are important things that need to be considered so that testing is successful for the species with which we work. In an effort to work towards solutions there are several things to consider. One option is to source swabs that are of adequate size. These are available. Here are two video clips that feature larger swabs.

Video Warning! One clip does include the use of cow cadavers. The other clip utilizes pig restraint devises. Some viewers may find these videos unpleasant. Viewer discretion is advised:

Collecting Nasal Swabs from a Cow Cadaver

Collecting Oral Swabs from Restrained Pigs

Another thing to consider is the size of the cats to be tested. Another option is to consider an oral/throat swab which is proving to be quite successful and requiring less and less invasive tactics to collect a suitable sample. We are also consulting with the veterinary professionals who supported this course for additional suggestions. Check back for more information.

Do you have new information to share based on your experience training the behaviors? Perhaps you are a veterinary professional working in this field of study. If you would like to share information in the updates area, please let us know.

Database of Animals

Check out this highly informative interactive global open access dataset of reported SARS-CoV-2 events in animals

Sonovia Technology

New technology on the forefront includes Sonovia which produces masks and fabrics that "kill" viruses. The mask is reusable and washable and test results show it to be more effective than N95 masks. Learn more about this technology here.

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